Rabid Vampire Bats Kill 23 in Brazil

Posted on November 7, 2005

LiveScience.com reports that 23 people have been killed in Brazil by rabid vampire bats in the last two months.
Bites from rabid vampire bats were blamed for 23 deaths in northern Brazil over the past two months, according to local newspaper reports.

Many scientists fear such encounters will become more common as the bats' forests homes are destroyed and they are lured towards cattle ranches and farms where livestock and humans make easy prey.
The article dispels many myths about vampire bats -- they don't go for victims throat or break into houses to bite people. They also don't suck people's blood -- they just lap it up. Not that really sounds much better.
Also, instead of sucking the blood of their victims as is generally believed, vampire bats make a small tear in their victim's skin and lap at the blood as it oozes out. When the bats have finished their meal, they're often so engorged with blood that they're too heavy to fly. The bats have to crawl off their sleeping victims and go someplace to digest their meal before returning home.
The article says that most of the human victims are people that sleep outdoors or in huts without windows. But 23 deaths in two months is sure to cause some fear especially in people who can't afford proper shelter.
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